The American Stock Exchange collapsed in 1929, and
caused an economic depression. America took back
all its foreign loans, which left Weimar Germany poor,
causing unemployment in Germany to rise to 6
In July 1930 Chancellor Brüning, not knowing what to
do cut government expenditure, wages and
unemployment pay - the worst thing to do during a
depression. He had to use article 48 to get this official
though, because he could not get the Reichstag to
agree to his actions.
• The Nazis gained money from wealthy businessmen
who were frightened by workers who turned to
communism (a view where everyone is equal).
• Alarmed by the obvious failure of democracy, Many
middle-class people decided that the country needed a
strong government and Hitler was seen as the obvious
• The Treaty of Versailles was blamed for this uproar by
nationalists and racists and again they supported
Hitler as he didn’t like the treaty either.
In 1928, the Nazis had only 12 seats in the Reichstag; by
July 1932 they had 230 seats and were the largest party.
The government was in chaos. Brüning was dismissed
in 1932 by President Hindenburg. His replacement -
Papen - lasted six months, and the next chancellor -
Schleicher - only lasted two months. Hindenburg had
to use Article 48 to pass almost every law.
Hindenburg and Papen came up with a plan to get the
Nazis on their side in January 1933, by offering to make
Hitler vice chancellor. He refused and demanded to be
made chancellor. Thinking they could control him,
In January 1933, Hitler became chancellor, and
immediately set about making himself absolute ruler
of Germany using Article 48.
Government expenditure: government spending
Economic depression: a time when there are many
bankruptcies and little trade.
Reichstag: a building in Germany where the parliament